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The Alphabet Game

Melissa from My Lief Life tagged me in the alphabet meme a few weeks ago. I meant to do it much sooner, but finals and major life contemplation got in the way. More on that later, but for now The Alphabet Meme!

A: Attached or Single: Very attached. Moving countries for someone makes you very very attached.

B: Best Friend: Is it too lame to say Loek? I think that people come in and out of your life at certain points and some stick around no matter the time and distance. I am so thankful that I have a great support system in my life.

C: Cake or Pie: I am totally a cake girl, in fact up until last Thanksgiving I was ardently opposed to all pie. However, watching the Great British Bake Off, makes me really really want to try a proper meat pie.

D: Day of Choice: Any day that I have completely off. If Loek has is off as well, then all the better.

E: Essential Item: Sunscreen. Sensitive skin that gets burnt even in the eternally cloud filled Netherlands will make this anyone's essential.

F: Favorite Color: Mustard yellow or orange.

G: Gummy  Bears or Worms: Both? As long as they aren't the sour gummy worms. I actually have no impulse control with gummy bears. I have been known to go on gummy bear binges. Its not pretty.

H: Hometown: Even though I was born in Florida, I lived throughout the metro Atlanta area through my formative years. So, yeah I'm an A town girl.

I: Favorite Indulgence: Gilmore Girls.

J: January or July: Both require jackets in the Netherlands. But it gets dark at 4pm in January and 11pm in July. So July wins!

K: Kids: I'm about to have another Godchild and I am so excited about it. One day I'll have some of my own, but right now I am happy to live vicariously through my friends back home. 

L: Life Isn't Complete Without: Books.

M: Marriage Date: Before I'm 30? 

N: Number of Handbags: Only one, I am so not normal! Now ask me how many book bags I own!

O: Oranges or Apples: The smell of oranges, the juice of apples.

P: Phobias: Boats and sharks. 

Q: Quote: “All that is gold does not glitter. Not all those who wander are lost"

R: Reason to Smile: I'm going back to visit the States for the first time since I moved abroad, in less than two months!

S: Season of Choice: Spring time!

T: Tag 5 People: Your turn Christy, Amanda, Lily, Tania and Katie!

U: Unknown Fact About Me: I can not stand the smell of Bradford Pear's in bloom.

V: Vegetable: Green asparagus. 

W: Worst Habit: Leaving the cabinet doors wide open!

X: X-ray or Ultrasound: I've only ever had an x-ray.

Y: Your Favorite Food: Boiled Peanuts!

Z: Zodiac Sign: Leo or a Tiger if you are talking Chinese Zodiac.

 

I had lots of fun doing this, you can play along! 

 

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There was a Crooked Woman

Oh how I have missed your faces! I've been knee deep in finishing the semester, finals, and physical therapy. I finally learned what has been plaguing my shoulder for the past two years. I have hypermobility in my joints, which is why I stand like an ostrich. This is causing the ligaments in my shoulder to not flex properly, which causes tension on my joint and irritation. My shoulder blades are also significantly uneven. Yep, I am crooked! 
So, what does this news mean? Basically, it means that I have to work hard on my body and live a more active lifestyle. I have to get out from behind the computer more and be more conscious about my poor posture. I have to work on getting my neck not so stiff first, and then we will work on my body going down. Eventually, I'm hoping to not be in pain, stand with my shoulders back, and not like a circus act. 
I'm not even sure how my body got so messed up. A lot of little bad habits caused a big problem. I used to be so active without having to make an effort to do so. I want to get back to that. I also know that working out in a gym bores me to tears, so I have to find other ways to get in shape. Luckily for me, the Netherlands offers a large variety of adult sports clubs for people of all skill levels. Most of them even allow beginners a few sessions for free.
Now to just pick one. Do you play any sports as an adult? I would love some recommendations! 

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You are my Joy!

Happiness project, being happy as an expat, living abroad, living in holland

Hello dearies! 

I hope you are all having an amazing week! It is my last week of school, so I am knee deep in projects, papers, and exams. But I really missed you guys! One of my final assignments of the year is a reflection report of the year and whether or not I met my goals for the school year. At first, I thought this was a weird assignment, but now I kind of love it. It has inspired me to look at other areas of my life and realize how amazingly blessed I am. 

One of my favorite quotes is "Comparison is the thief of joy" I have seen this quote credited to both FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt, it was on the internet so it really could have been said by Willy Nelson for all I know. (Completely off topic, I just watched Our Idiot Brother, and the dog is named Willy Nelson, best dog name ever!) Anyways, I think the saying is really true and something that I hold dear to my heart. After all, we all think the grass is greener on the other side, even when it is not. Which is why I am instead trying to think of the things that are amazing on my life, and holding them close. Such as:

I finally feel like I am home. It is kind of weird isn't it? I feel like I am exactly where I was meant to be and I am incredibly happy in a place so far from where I was born, and where I am still not entirely fluent in the language. Sure, I have had my fair share of wow this is strange, how am I going to adapt? moments that everyone has when they move to a new place. And I miss certain foods and traditions that I grew up with, and of course friends and family, but I have never felt really homesick, because I am home. 

I have amazing friends. From my blogger girls, to my amazingly funny colleagues, to my close group of school chums, to those friends back in the States who have been great about keeping in touch, and of course my readers. You guys are great! I learned long ago not to involve myself with people who love and create drama, and this is working out pretty great for me. Seriously, you don't need people in your life who give you a bad time or who make you feel bad about yourself. 

It is finally feeling like spring! Honestly, I don't mind the winter here that much. I mean it is cold and all, and having it get dark at 4pm can bum anyone out a bit. But the trade off is that it is light out from 6am until 11 during the spring and summer! It is finally warm enough for picnics, and reading outside, and my favorite thing of all going on long walks. Plus as a special bonus, it is baby bird season. Seriously, nothing makes me as instantly insanely happy as seeing ducklings, cygnet or goslings. (Did you know that a cygnet is a baby swan? Yeah, me either!) You can think it is weird that I get so happy about something so simple, but it really does work. 

My family is so supportive. When I told my family that I was moving abroad, they were nothing but supportive of my dreams. In fact most of them said they knew this day would come. So, even though I had keep my long distance love a secret while I figured things out, telling them I was moving abroad was not hard at all. I knew they would be behind me, like they have been behind me my whole life. 

I try not to gush about the verlo too much on here, but really I am incredibly lucky. I have someone who makes me laugh, finds me funny, and who is so supportive. He is incredibly calm and mellow, which helps me to be calm and mellow. This is a huge thing, I've been compared to Monica from friends a lot in my life and I am uber type A. And since I told the truth about how much my shoulder has actually been bothering me for the last year, he has stepped up incredibly. From making dinner, to chores and grocery shopping. He even has put my hair up in a ponytail for me a few times when I want it up, because I can't right now. Honey, I know you are going to read this and I love you. I'm also sure you are going to point out my grammar mistakes in this post, and I love you for that too. 

While it can be incredibly easy for me to focus on the less than perfect things in my life: I wish I had more money, worked less, and lost weight faster. This doesn't really help anyone.  After reflecting on some of the small things that bring my joy, I came to the realization, which was quite stunning. I am happy! 

What are some of the things in your life that are great? Share them here and pass the love!

Until next time!

look at that cute baby face hiding there!

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June's Expat Blogger Brunch is Just Around the Corner

Expat Blogger Brunch June

Hello lovelies! 

Can you believe it will be June tomorrow, craziness right? I wanted to let you guys know that the June Edition of the Expat Blogger Brunch will be held in Leiden on June 16th. Lily and I look forward to these brunches so much each month and can not wait to see you guys there! If you want to attend  please RSVP by June 14th to GAPeachAbroad@gmail.com. We try to keep the number around 15. 

Can't wait to connect/reconnect with you guys!

Just a reminder, the expat brunches are open to anyone with a blog! And our goals are to:

  • Generate a creative, social form
  • Expand experiences abroad through a network of expat bloggers in the Netherlands
  • Cultivate Social Media contacts into real life connections
  • Exchange ideas, suggestions and support about and within the expat community
  • Inspire each other through topic discussions and special events

Hope to see you there or at the one in July! 

Until next time,

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I'm in Pain, So I Finally Went to the Doctor Abroad

I have never liked doctors. I hated everything about going to the doctor in the States and would avoid it until it was absolutely necessary. I think that perhaps my resentment stems from the time I had an infected ovary at the age of 14 and the doctor came in and announced to my mom and I that I was pregnant. Umm, don't think so and don't you have to ask the parent to leave the room even if that were true. I think my mom called him an idiot. 

I took this resentment with me to the Netherlands, combined with a fear of not being able to communicate what was wrong with me, and if there was something wrong with me this news being issued to me with Dutch bluntness. Plus, I wasn't sure about costs and such although insurance is a legal requirement here in the Netherlands. Yep, occasionally I am ridiculously stubborn. 

I did manage to find a doctor though and register online just in case I ever needed one in an emergency. Today, it was necessary to go to the doctor for the first time. Right before I moved to the Netherlands, I had massive pain in my right shoulder. I went to a doc in the box because my insurance had expired when I left my job. I was told it was nothing and sent home with some heavy duty Ibuprofen. It took care of the pain for awhile, but in this last year the pain has come back with a vengeance. 

The pain normally horrible for a few days each month and normal things like getting undressed are not an option without assistance. But then the pain would be a lot less and I didn't want to go to the doctor and be like, oh yeah I had pain last week, but now it is okay. However, the pain has been pretty much constant this whole month and I haven't been able to sleep for the past two days, due to the pain. So finally I took the plunge and called yesterday to make an appointment for today. Of course today was not a terrible day pain wise, but I am still in pain. My doctor is a fifteen minute walk from my house, which is awesome. 

I got to the appointment 30 minutes early because I was expecting to have to fill out all sorts of forms. Not at all the case, I was just told to go wait in the waiting room, they didn't even want to see my insurance card or anything. I was then called back by my doctor therefore there was no more awkward waiting in the room alone.(My least favorite part about going to the doctor in the States). After a few tests on my shoulder and a talk about what was wrong, It was decided that I should take some major pain meds for the next week, 3 times a day! And a stomach med because the pain meds are known to mess with stomachs. This is amazing as I have a weak stomach. The doctor sent the prescription online to the pharmacy which was in the same complex. 

I was then asked to make an appointment next week as they are hoping the inflammation will go down a bit and I will see my doctor and a physical therapist to help figure out what the problem is since this has been off and on for two years now. She ruled out a lot and I will see a specialist. 

I was so surprised that in the two minutes I had to walk over to the pharmacy, my prescription was ready, but they come in boxes not bottles.So that is also more efficient. Overall, it was incredibly cheap and time efficient in compared to going to the doctor in the States. I don't know if this is just my doctor or if my experience is typical of the Dutch system, but so far I think it is sooooooo much better than the American system. 

Please forgive me if this post is a little ramblely, the meds are making me a bit loopy. What do you think is good/bad about the healthcare system in your country?

Until next time,

 

Image courtesy of [image creator name] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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